This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

I like to read books before I go to bed. It helps me fall asleep.

This is Not a Test is not a book you want to read if you want to fall asleep. It is subtle, yet brutal. Contained, but devastating. It will break your will to sleep before you’re able to put it down.

“This must be what Dorothy felt like, I think. Maybe. If Dorothy was six scared teenagers and Oz was hell.”

Six teenagers stuck in a dark and desolated high school. The living dead desperate to find a way in. Their resources are not renewable, and their struggle to survive escalates to epic proportions when the fight for life and death finds its way inside. For Sloane Price, this is the perfect chance to purge herself of her past – or, to give up, and give into the ghosts that continue to haunt her.

Courtney Summers does it again, writing a book in which every paragraph is like a punch to the stomach. This story is a unique one, focusing not so much on building the world where zombies reign, but on fleshing out six teenaged survivors. Sloane’s character development is impressive, and her horrid past hit close to home for me.

My favorite part of this book was the characters’ interactions with one another. Their conflicting motivations, passions, and emotions infused the atmosphere of the novel with tense energy, and Summers masterfully controlled each character’s dialogue and actions. Despite my desire to physically restrain Trace, I could empathize with all of them, even when they made mistakes.

I highly recommend This is Not a Test one to everyone, and especially those who want a more character-driven, reflective zombie story. Irrespective, you won’t be able to stop reading it.


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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

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